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Friday, April 18, 2014

Where do you take your lunch hour?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 6:00 AM

A healthy salad makes a nice, nourishing lunch -- but on a stressful workday, a stiff drink and a grilled cheese might be in order. - ANGELA C. BOND
  • Angela C. Bond
  • A healthy salad makes a nice, nourishing lunch -- but on a stressful workday, a stiff drink and a grilled cheese might be in order.


The concepts of breakfast and dinner are older, apparently, than the idea of the midday meal that we now know as lunch. Culinary historians pinpoint the mid-19th century as the time when lunch, which had been treated as little more than a snack prior to that (Samuel Johnson's 1755 definition of the word was "as much food as the hand can hold"), became less of a novelty, more of a meal with a fixed timetable.

The subject of today's Central Standard program at 11 a.m. on KCUR 89.3 will be lunch in all of its possible incarnations, from a quick jaunt through the company cafeteria to the two-martini variety of the Mad Men era to the cozy romantic getaway in a dimly lit French bistro.

You can join the conversation to discuss your own favorite places to dine in that noon-2 p.m. slot  in the Kansas City metro by calling 816-235-2888.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Home Skillet in Raytown and the case of the missing pies

Posted By on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 3:05 PM


HOME_SKILLET_PIE.jpg

The two-month-old Home Skillet, a family-owned diner at 6225 Blue Ridge Boulevard, makes a lot of the dishes on its menu from scratch: the dinner rolls, the hand-cut french fries (fried to order), the cole slaw, the mashed potatoes. And then there are 27-year-old co-owner Josh Bennett's pies.

Bennett, who owns the venue with his father, Mike, and his aunt Kelly Dull, makes his own pie crust. ("Of course, I use lard," says Josh Bennett. "Both of my parents are from Arkansas. It's lard or nothing.") And he tries to bake enough of them to have for a whole week, but that hasn't been the case so far. A couple of weeks ago, after I'd finished a pretty decent dinner of fish and chips, my chatty server, Holly, raved about the restaurant's pies.

"They're wonderful! Our customers just love them. Tonight we have cherry and blueberry," she said.

My friend and I each ordered a piece of cherry pie. Ten minutes later, Holly returned. "I regret to inform you," she said, with all the solemnity of a funeral director, "that we are out of cherry pie. We only have apple and blueberry."

You know where this is going, don't you? We ordered apple pie. Ten minutes later, looking even more crestfallen, Holly returned. "I regret to inform you that we are out of apple pie. We only have blueberry."

Ten minutes later and another sheepish "I regret to inform you" speech, Holly returned with a piece of peach pie. It was pretty good, but sort of an anticlimax.

Continue reading »

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Friday, March 21, 2014

It's all about using your noodle this morning on KCUR's Central Standard

Posted By on Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 7:07 AM

ANGELA C. BOND
  • Angela C. Bond


The subject will be noodles - everything from phad thai to linguini carbonara - on the Central Standard program KCUR 89.3 with me and fellow panelists Emily Farris, Christine Becicka of Restaurant Guide of Kansas City, and Gloria Gale of 435 Magazine

You can join the conversation to discuss your own favorite place to twirl the noodles in the Kansas City metro by calling 816-235-2888.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Fox News stung by bee

Posted By on Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 3:31 PM

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Jackson County Spelling Bee winner Kush Sharma and runner-up Sophia Hoffman brought the drama Saturday morning. Fox News took care of the comedy. (h/t Media Matters). 

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Monday, March 3, 2014

The story behind those communist China "right to work" billboards in Kansas City

Posted By on Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 12:32 PM

This billboard went up not long ago along Interstate 70
  • This billboard went up not long ago along Interstate 70
If you can't beat their hyperventilating rhetoric, use it against them.

Terry Akins, a labor executive with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers No. 124 in Kansas City, had this thought in mind when he brandished a map of China with an accompanying hammer and sickle upon a billboard along Interstate 70.

Drivers heading east from downtown Kansas City on I-70 near the Van Brunt exit have spotted the billboard showing China's political boundaries draped in red, adorned with the universal symbol for communism between a line reading "Communist China: A right to work state since 1921."

Continue reading »

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Free to a good home: a microwave and a copy of The Kansas City Star

Posted By on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 11:55 AM

micro2.jpg

There are all kinds of treasures around Kansas City now that the snow is melting. We found this microwave in the Bulldog's back parking lot.

So if you're in need of a gently used micro, you'll find it behind the bushes. Bonus: It comes with a copy of The Kansas City Star inside.

Also, can we all agree to stop leaving used condoms around the Crossroads? 

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill serves an eye-catching bread

Posted By on Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 12:57 PM

The new Firebirds Wood Fired Grill serves a generous loaf of bread -- and butter.
  • The new Firebirds Wood Fired Grill serves a generous loaf of bread -- and butter.



I'm a big fan of bread service in restaurants. For economic reasons, a lot of restaurants don't offer bread anymore - even slices of Roma bread with chilled squares of butter, which was once a staple of many local restaurants. (For the record, Anthony's Restaurant at 701 Grand still does.)

I'm still nostalgic for those warm, yeasty round loaves of sourdough that the long-gone Fedora Cafe & Bar served back in its heyday. I was reminded, sort of, about that legendary loaf when I was dining at the new Firebirds Wood Fired Grill in Overland Park, this week's Cafe review in The Pitch. On my first visit, the server brought out a loaf of freshly baked, cornmeal-dusted bread that had the most provocative shape. It evoked thoughts of Lady Gaga, Sophia Vergara, and Jennifer Lopez, among others.

But it was the name of the bread that really caught our attention.

Continue reading »

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Chef Phillip Martin wants a creperie on wheels

Posted By on Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Chef Phillip Martin wants to seize the day -- with crepes. - PHILLIP MARTIN/FACEBOOK
  • Phillip Martin/Facebook
  • Chef Phillip Martin wants to seize the day -- with crepes.

A show of hands, please. Is there anyone in Kansas City who does not want to operate his or her own food truck? (Well, me.) Phillip Martin, the 39-year-old executive chef at the Primrose Retirement Community in the Northland, would like his own food truck - to serve crepes - and even has a catchy name for it: Crepe Diem. He also has a Kickstarter campaign going in order to raise the $30,000 he'll need to get into the food-truck business.

Martin, whose 23-year culinary career includes 11 years with the Hy-Vee stores, has raised nearly $5,000 on his Kickstarter venture, but that's about $25,000 less than his goal - and the clock stops in three days.

"A lot of people have gotten most of their funds in the last days of these projects," Martin says.

Martin's ultimate goal: to own a couple of food trucks and an actual restaurant serving breakfast and lunch.


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Thursday, December 26, 2013

No, Sama Zama restaurant is not for sale says owner

Posted By on Thu, Dec 26, 2013 at 2:27 PM

You can still find raspberry maki at Sama Zama in Westport. - ANGELA C. BOND
  • Angela C. Bond
  • You can still find raspberry maki at Sama Zama in Westport.


We hear all kinds of restaurant gossip here at The Pitch and we try to follow up every lead, which is why we contacted Erika Koike today after hearing reports that she was giving tours of the two-year-old Westport restaurant (located on the site of the former Tivoli Theater) to potential buyers or investors.

"That's not exactly the story," says Yokohama-born Koike, who first got into the restaurant business in 2007, after opening the tiny One Bite Japanese Grill in Overland Park, her version of a Tokyo izakaya, a tavern where patrons could relax with a cool beverage and a few plates of small starters. In 2012, Koike moved to the 425 Westport Road location and expanded her menu. She also changed the name of the restaurant to Sama Zama, which translates as "variety."

"I'm looking at all my options right now," Koike says. "I really don't want to sell the restaurant."

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Brooke Salvaggio discusses BadSeed's new neighbor, Papa John's

Posted By on Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Brooke Salvaggio (with son Percy), organic farmer and BadSeed Market owner, was put in an awkward position when her parents leased an adjoining retail space to a Papa John's Pizza franchisee.
  • Brooke Salvaggio (with son Percy), organic farmer and BadSeed Market owner, was put in an awkward position when her parents leased an adjoining retail space to a Papa John's Pizza franchisee.

Please don't call Brooke Salvaggio a hypocrite.

Artist and restaurateur Jeff "Stretch" Rumaner threw out that word a week ago commenting on the new (and still unopened) Papa John's Pizza carryout venue opening in the building owned by Salvaggio's parents, Bruce and Barb Salvaggio. The BadSeed Market, run by Brooke and her husband, Dan Heryer, at 1909 McGee, is also a tenant in the building. "A rent-paying tenant, I might add," Brooke Salvaggio says.

Rumaner's quote: "I find (the Papa John's location) kind of hypocritical," Stretch says. "It's like putting a Starbucks next to YJ's Snack Bar. Hey, I'm not a fan of Papa John's, but then again, I've never tried it."

Brooke Salvaggio hasn't tried one either, but she's being very diplomatic about her parents' decision. Some of her customers, however, have been put out.

Continue reading »

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